Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jarret S. Lovell
With prime-time television and major motion pictures regularly depicting “graphic” images of gunshot victims, fallen heroes, and glorified villains, it is hard to imagine that “graphic images” of gunshot victims, fallen heroes, and glorified villains were once targets of American efforts to curb juvenile delinquency. Yet comic strips and comic books were central to America's war on crime during much of the twentieth century, both as a cause and means of preventing social problems. Beginning in the 1930s, comic books depicting legal efforts to combat gangsters and thugs were used by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to convince the public that “crime does not pay.” By the 1950s, U.S. leaders were all but convinced that American comic books were actually responsible for producing crime and delinquency. Crime has always been a staple of popular entertainment, whether in the detective mysteries of Sherlock Holmes or in the murderous plots of Shakespearian ...